Brigid of Ireland (Daughters of Ireland Book 1)

Free Brigid of Ireland (Daughters of Ireland Book 1) by Cindy Thomson

Book: Brigid of Ireland (Daughters of Ireland Book 1) by Cindy Thomson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cindy Thomson
made with the druid was that I’d be with her.”
    “How was I to know that she’d turn out to be a thief – and ye would turn out a magnificent cook? ’Tis better that I’m rid of her and still have ye to feed me. And don’t be thinking of running off. Not at yer age. I’ll have ye whipped, and ye might not survive it.”
    Cook glared at him, the bag of hot air. “Ever since my dear husband died ye’ve threatened me with that. Have I ever tried to leave?”
    “Nay. But there’s that blasted trip to the seashore. I could take that away if ye don’t stop yer nagging. Hmm, ’tis getting close to time for that again, nay?”
    “Take it away? After what the druid said?” It was wicked of her to bring up that harmless curse. But Dubthach feared such things and because he did, she had been able to see darling Brocca over the years. Sometimes only at a distance, to protect Brigid from the agony of parting with her mother again, but even so it did Cook’s heart good to see that Dubthach’s former slave was thriving. “Ye should remember, man. The druid expects Brigid to go on that trip.”
    “’Tis no concern of mine now.”
    “It is not, now? Well, I hear that the druid himself will be at the seashore this year. I’ll just have to send him to Glasgleann to visit ye.”
    Dubthach’s face drained of color. “Ye can’t if yer not there to see him.”
    “Whether I’m there or nay, he’ll find out and come looking for ye.”
    The master exhaled and chuckled. “That druid was aged when I first sent Brocca away. He’s surely dead by now.”
    A voice bellowed from the doorway. “I saw him yesterday.” They turned to see Brian standing at the door, a blade of grass stuck between his teeth. He whistled to break the silence.
    Dubthach marched over to the door. He was a head shorter than Brian, but he tried to stare him down nonetheless. “How can ye be sure it was him?”
    “He told me he was Brocca’s master. Asked me to give ye this.” He opened his fist to reveal a small leather cross. The one Brocca had always worn around her neck. “He said she couldn’t come this year and he was there in her stead.”
    Dubthach snatched the cross away. “I’ll not be dictated to by my slaves, hear me? Troya will have something to say about this.”
    Cook nearly collapsed onto the floor. Her legs felt like a newborn calf’s, and the room was suddenly hot.
    “No need to tell yer old wife.” Brian eyes pleaded.
    “Well, if the druid is going to curse me, I’ve no other choice.”
    Cook knew she was wailing, but she couldn’t stop. “Nay! That darlin’ child! Think about her for once. Troya will kill her!”
    “Ye listen to me.” Dubthach shook the cross in Cook’s face.
    “I have tried all these years to provide for that child. She returned my goodwill by stealing from me. She’s a curse, that one. Just like the prophet said at her birth. Ye know what the druid said ’bout that.”
    “Nay, nay,” Cook wailed on. “She’s a blessing. A blessing.” “A curse, she is. If that druid comes ’round, I’ll have no
    choice but to inform Troya that Brigid still lives.”
     
    Cook didn’t hear Dubthach leave. She covered her face with her hands and wept.
    Brian tried to console her, but his voice trembled in unison with her hands. “We’ll think of something. Something will come to us, ye’ll see.”
    She pulled herself to her feet. “Brian, ye’ve got to go back to Brocca’s druid. Talk to him. I’ve failed my mission. May God have mercy on me.”
    “Not yet.” Brian’s ruddy face drew up into a thousand wrinkles of worry. “I’d best be getting over to talk to that monk Philib. If Troya finds out where Brigid is, the monks will need to protect her.”
    He swung the door open to leave and four of Cook’s grandchildren sailed in. “Maimeo, what shall we do today? Is it time to make butter?”
    She didn’t want to worry them, but when they looked at her, their faces fell silent. She shooed

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